Politics of Dissent Film Fest: Eugene Weekly and the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics present this film festival, subtitled “Human Stories for Our Times.” Films include Medium Cool (8 pm 10/5 & 5 pm 10/6), The Road to Guantánamo (9:20 pm 10/6 & 2 pm 10/7), Osama (1 pm 10/6 & 4 pm 10/7), Iraq in Fragments (6 pm 10/5 & 7:20 pm 10/6) and 12 Angry Men (3 pm 10/6 & 6 pm 10/7). For complete schedule and film descriptions, see this issue’s pull-out or waynemorsecenter.uoregon.edu $5 per film
Bratz: The bubble-headed dolls come to life in the story of four girls who find that high school cliques are downright hard to avoid. What lessons will they learn from trying to fight the bossy student body president? Will the Bratz be divided? Tough questions, for sure. PG. 110 min. Movies 12.
Eugene International Film Festival: The second annual festival showcases films from around the world; some of last year’s short films wound up being Oscar nominees, so even if you haven’t heard of these pieces, you’ll probably find something more than worth checking out! Oct.4-6 at VRC Stadium 15. $35 all-films pass. www.eugenefilmfest.org
Guerilla Screening Series: Eugene filmmaker showcase. Bijou LateNite.
General, The: Buster Keaton’s 1927 silent classic kicks off Lorane’s Rural Art Center’s Made in Oregon fall film series with a spaghetti dinner and youth art show. 5:30 pm dinner, 6 pm social hour, 7:30 pm movie, Oct. 6. $10 dinner and movie, $3 just dinner, $7 just movie.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Ministry of Magic is in denial about the return of Lord Voldemort, Hogwarts get a nasty new teacher and Harry … Harry’s in one kind of trouble or another throughout the mostly successful and only slightly disappointing fifth HP film. It’s not quite Prisoner of Azkaban, but it’s getting there. PG13. 138 min. Movies 12. (7/19)
Heartbreak Kid, The: Ben Stiller meets the love of his life! Except … not really. Wasn’t this movie called Meet the Parents a few years ago? OK, OK, so this time it’s the girl who’s the problem. And this adaptation of Neil Simon’s 1972 play is directed by the Farrelly Brothers, who struck gold with Stiller and humiliation comedy with There’s Something About Mary. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Jane Austen Book Club, The: A sweet but slightly off adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler’s bestselling novel about six people — three friends, a daughter, two strangers — who form a book group to discuss Jane Austen’s six novels. Austen’s themes resonate throughout the story, and the cast is winning, but the film never reaches above a certain level of charm. PG13. 106 min. Bijou. Cinemark. See review this issue.
Night Watch: Timur Bekmam-betov’s epic exploration of the powers of good and evil as they manifest in present-day Moscow is part one of a planned trilogy. Striking and fresh though some of the techniques are familiar, this film went shamefully unnoticed when released in the U.S. last year. R. 114 min. Bijou LateNite. Online archives.
Ratatouille: The latest animated film from Pixar is directed by Brad Bird (whose The Iron Giant is too often overlooked) and concerns a big-dreaming rat who wants to be a chef. When he makes a deal with a garbage boy, the culinary world of Paris gets far more than it ever imagined. G. 110 min. Movies 12. (7/12)
Sea Monsters 3D: Computer-generated animation brings to life sea creatures from as long ago as the Late Cretaceous period in this 3D adventure. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Seeker, The: This movie was once called The Dark is Rising, for it was once (and ostensibilty still is) based on Susan Cooper’s wonderful, award-winning series of books. But her books were steeped in Welsh mythology and were decidedly not about an American preteen in a Santa Cruz jacket. Still, powers of light and dark, saving the world, etc. — all good themes for us fantasy fans. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted. See archived reviews at www.eugeneweekly.com
Becoming Jane: Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this heavily imagined look at Jane Austen’s early years — a love affair, an inspiration. It’s sweet and the cast is a delight, but the movie can’t quite connect Jane’s two passions: her writing and her interest in dashing Tom Lefroy (a wonderful Jame McAvoy). PG13. 120 min. Movies 12. (8/16)
Bourne Ultimatum, The: “I remember everything,” says Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in this film’s action-packed trailer. Director Paul Greengrass and the major players (Joan Allen, Julia Stiles) return to the series’ satisfying third installment, which finds Bourne hunting down his past in stunning locations. PG13. 111 min. Cinemark. (8/9)
Brave One, The: Jodie Foster plays a New York radio host who is attacked by a group of men who kill her fiancé (Naveen Andrews, from Lost). The experience leaves her shaken and transforms her into a vigilante in Neil Jordan’s dated-seeming film, which fails to fully investigate the questions its story seems to raise. R. 122 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/20)
Eastern Promises: David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) again directs the always-stellar Viggo Mortensen, here playing a mysterious fellow with ties to a London crime family. Naomi Watts is the midwife caught up in the family’s net when she accidentally comes across evidence of their crimes. R. 96 min. VRC Stadium 15. (9/27)
Feast of Love: Director Robert Benton’s (Kramer vs. Kramer) adaptation of Charles Baxter’s novel was filmed in Portland, and stars Morgan Freeman as a professor watching his neighbors (Greg Kinnear, Selma Blair, Radha Mitchell and others) fall in and out of love. R. 102 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Game Plan, The: The Rock stretches his dramatic skills as a football player faced with a strange challenge: a little girl who claims to be his daughter. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Good Luck Chuck: Chuck (Dane Cook) has a hex on him: every girl he dates finds true love with the next guy she dates. Enter Cam (Jessica Alba), a klutzy sweetheart Chuck falls for hard. Clearly, he’s got to wiggle out from under his strange curse. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Hairspray: Based on John Waters’ 1988 cult classic, Hairspray is about teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show — especially one short, plump, cheery girl who loves to dance. With John Travolta in drag. PG. 117 min. Cinemark. (7/26)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as a couple of firefighters who, for various bureaucratic insurance reasons, claim to be domestic parners — all fun and games until the news gets ahold of the story. I’m sure all related issues are dealt with thoughtfully. Um, right. PG13. 110 min. Movies 12.
In the Valley of Elah: The latest from director Paul Haggis (Crash) is “inspired by true events” and concerns a veteran, his wife and their search for their son, who’s gone missing after returning from Iraq. It’s got a superb cast (Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Charlize Theron) yet never catches fire. R. 121 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Kingdom, The: “If Frank Capra had ever made a Rambo movie, it would have looked like this,” said Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. Peter Berg directs an interesting cast (Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Chris Cooper) in the story of an FBI team sent to Riyadh to capture a terrorist mastermind. R. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday: Good old Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson)! You either adore him, or you find him not at all funny. Here, a French vacation turns out to be full of mishaps and mistaken identity. Is Mr. Bean a kidnapper, a filmmaker or neither? G. 87 minutes. Movies 12.
Mr. Woodcock: This oft-delayed film involves a fellow (Seann William Scott) heading home to stop his mother (Susan Sarandon) from marrying his high school gym teacher (Billy Bob Thorton), who was, shall we say, no saint. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
No End in Sight: Charles Ferguson’s searing, elegant documentary chronicles a timeline of failures surrounding the planning and management of the war in Iraq. Ferguson has placed news we’ve seen before into a precise timeline, filled in with fascinating interviews, that paints a damning portrait of ignorance and incompetence on the part of the Bush administration. Not rated. 102 min. Bijou. (9/13)
Outsourced: Josh Hamilton, who was once so charming, stars in this unfortunate fish-out-of-water story about a call center manager whose department is outsourced. He’s sent to India to train his replacement, and wacky culture shock hijinks ensue! Except they’re actually clichéd and insincere, not wacky. PG13. 103 min. Bijou. (9/27)
Resident Evil: Extinction: Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still trying to get rid of that pesky zombie-making virus. For this third film in the series, Alice gets new friends (we suspect they replace those zombified last time out) including Heroes‘ Ali Larter and singer Ashanti. R. Cinemark.
Rush Hour 3: Did I forget this one when I made my list of this summer’s needless sequels? Did I mention I blame director Brett Ratner for the murky mess that was last year’s X-Men 3? Does it matter? Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, questionable jokes and action humor: you know what you’re getting. PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.
Shrek the Third: When Shrek’s father-in-law kicks the bucket, the ogre finds himself the reluctant king of Far Far Away. His only hope of getting out of the job? His wife’s slacker cousin. PG. 92 min. Movies 12.
Simpsons Movie, The: Well, our Springfield didn’t get the premiere, but in the film maybe we’ll still see some hints that we are the real Simpsons Springfield? Still no idea what it’s about, but does it matter? PG13. 87 min. Movies 12.
Surf’s Up: The young, talented, possibly misguided Shia LaBeouf voices Cody Maverick, a teenage penguin surfer entering his first pro competition. A documentary crew’s filming his every move, which might — sort of — explain that “based on a true story” joke in the preview. PG. 85 min. Movies 12.
Sydney White: Sassy Sydney (Amanda Bynes) ditches her ditzy sorority sister for a house full of geeks (and there are seven of them! Get it?) and a chance at taking down the reigning wicked queen of campus. And surely she’s got to win a prince of a guy as well. PG-13. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
3:10 to Yuma: Russell Crowe and Christian Bale costar in this solid Western from director James Mangold (Walk the Line). Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard that was made into a film in 1957, the film follows a vicious outlaw (Crowe) and the Civil War vet (Bale) who’s volunteered to get the thief to the train that’ll take him to trial. R. 117 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/13)
Transformers: It wouldn’t be summer without a Michael Bay film, right? Hot on the heels of those other ’80s toys the Ninja Turtles, the Transformers arrive, bigger and flashier than ever. Earth, it seems, will be the battleground for the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. With Shia LaBeouf (Holes) and Megan Fox. PG13. 144 min. Movies 12.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall